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How Car Accidents Cause Heart Attacks and Irregular Heartbeat

heart attacks caused by car accidents

It is common knowledge that serious motor vehicle accidents can cause broken bones, ligament tears, sprains, and strains. Many people don’t realize, however, that a serious car accident can cause injuries to your cardiovascular system. A car, truck or motorcycle accident is a very stressful incident. Car accidents cause heart attacks and irregular heartbeat.

The stress and trauma a driver or passenger experiences in a car or truck accident cannot be overstated. Two known cardiac ailments following high-stress accidents are:

  1. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome)
  2. Atrial fibrillation (AFib).

A Takotsubo cardiomyopathy incident can happen after a car accident. This stress-induced heart incident can cause chest pains and shortness of breath even in people with normal healthy hearts with no history of heart disease. The symptoms mimic the more common heart attack caused by blockage and often require hospitalization.

Another cardiovascular or heart issue following a serious accident is an episode of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat which can typically be managed through medication or electrical shock to put your heart back into rhythm.

Some people can manage their AFib for years with medication without experiencing an irregular heartbeat. However, there are occasions where the stress and trauma from a motor vehicle accident or fall can throw your heartbeat out of rhythm causing or aggravating atrial fibrillation. If the episode is bad enough, and doctors cannot get your heartbeat normal again with medication, electric shock treatments and hospitalization may be necessary to avoid more serious complications that can result, such as stroke, blood clots, and heart failure.

How Insurance Companies Deny Car Accidents Cause Heart Attacks and Irregular Heartbeat

In my experience, car insurance companies like to argue these cardiovascular injuries are not related to the accident, but merely coincidental. Insurance companies will make this argument even when the episode happens very soon after a serious accident. Insurance companies typically strongly contest these claims. This resistance from the insurance companies often requires a more thorough evidence presentation from a plaintiff’s lawyer, including securing written opinions from your doctors relating your condition to the accident. The insurance company may even require you to meet with one of their hired doctors before making a settlement offer.

Heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions after car wrecks may occur more often than many people realize. One study suggested a heart attack was a factor in as many as a quarter of all motor vehicle accident deaths.

It’s important to hire an attorney who is familiar with heart attacks and AFib in the wake of a car, truck or motorcycle accident. The car accident attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have been helping those injured in car wrecks for decades. Please call us at (757) 333-3333.

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